Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Are You Fracking Serious?

Hydraulic Fracturing better known as Fracking, is a natural gas extraction method that has swept our nation in the latest exploit for fossil fuel. The extraction process requires drilling some eight thousand feet into the earths platel shale’s to create seismic activity. During Fracking, drillers pump millions of litres of water mixed with chemicals and sand under high pressure into horizontal wells.

The extensive amount of water required to operate a single Frack extraction has the potential to create a very real water famine, in the near future. Once water has been used for Fracking purposes it is considered as contaminated material. Hydraulic Fracking companies have been known to strategically operate near water systems to exploit the environment, and lower costs from having to actually purchase water. What’s even more disturbing is the threat natural gas Fracking has on contaminating natural waterbeds and river systems.

The chemicals involved in fracturing have been held as proprietary trade secrets. Each company pumps their own lethal cocktail into the earth “contaminating essential life support systems - water, air, and soil- causing harm to the health of humans, wildlife, domestic animals, and vegetation” (Chemicals in Natural Gas Operations). Fracking chemical contamination has been directly linked to cancer and other serious life threatening diseases. MD Amy Freeth Antoinette Kuzminski, researched only one well and found severe health dangers from Fracking chemicals that include neurotoxins, skin irritants, carcinogens, sensitizers, and endocrine/hormone disruptors. In her study of a Wyoming well only 7 percent of the chemicals used in the Fracking operation were disclosed freely. “Her study provides a glimpse at the pattern(s) of possible health hazards posed by the chemicals being used. There are hundreds of products in current use, the components of which are, in many cases, unavailable for public scrutiny” (Chemicals in Natural Gas Operations). For more information on this study check out: http://www.endocrinedisruption.com/home.php
People living near natural gas Fracking operations have experienced sever water contamination. In some cases the water supply is not only toxic, but also flammable. Regular everyday people have been exploited by Fracking operations time and time again; and no one has been able to hold the multi-billion dollar industry accountable.

Gasland in my opinion one of the most moving documentary films I have ever witnessed explores the externalities involved in natural gas extraction. I implore anyone reading this blog to watch this documentary. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0fAsFQsFAs

And as there are always two sides to a story, you can also watch the corporate response to Gasland at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1W8MnveFq8
I have vigorously researched the Fracking epidemic and in my personal opinion, I feel that the statements made in this PSA have no real validation. There have been thousands of outside studies proving the very real health concerns related to Fracking. These studies completely contradict this big business sponsored PSA. But I do feel it is worth looking into as it’s exactly the kind of green spin we need to look out for in the fight for sustainability.

-Hillary Flood

No comments:

Post a Comment